Chris Playford is a Solar Thermal Engineer, and installed his first solar water heating system in 1978. He has many years’ experience in the design, integration and installation of large and small scale, solar hot water systems.  For the last 7 years he has worked mainly in the West Africa region on various solar thermal projects. A major emphasis has been on the introduction of solar hot water training courses, in association with local technical training institutes, and incorporating these courses into the existing relevant syllabus.  The courses cover the design, installation, & maintenance of solar water heating systems, including the construction of a flat plate collector from locally available materials.  These collectors are now manufactured on a small scale in The Gambia and have been installed in health clinics and Eco tourism camps. 

Chris is currently based in Sierra Leone working as Renewable Energy Advisor for Environmental Foundation for Africa (EFA).  Part of this role is to carry out surveys and advise on all aspects of water supply and solar thermal opportunities, primarily in the health sector.  The introduction of solar thermal and photovoltaic courses at the Government Training Institute SL had led to recent funding for the creation of a Renewable Energy Department.

Chris served a full apprenticeship as a plumber / heating engineer. He ran his own heating business for 20 years before specialising in solar thermal technology.  When, in the UK, he designs & manages the installation of large and small scale linked heating systems, incorporating solar energy.



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